Qibao Malatang
Iidabashi: Szechuan
Qibao Malatang (Iidabashi: Szechuan)
Qibao Malatang
Open 11:30am-10:45pm (LO) daily.
Sun: Open Sundays

Qibao's specialty is Szechuan-style soup with glass noodles. The broth is infused with a blend of medicinal herbs, and you can select from dozens of optional toppings to fill up your bowl. Popular choices include dumplings stuffed with shrimp and crabmeat, leafy vegetables like spinach, bok choy and shungiku, and enticing combinations like bacon-wrapped cheese and fried tofu stuffed with ground pork.

These add-on toppings come in pre-measured packets, and are displayed in a big refrigerated cabinet at the shop's entrance. You can pick three toppings, plus soup and noodles, for Y750 (plus tax), but it's always tempting to order a couple more; additional toppings are priced at just Y110 each.

After you've picked your ingredients the next step is to choose a level of spiciness from 0 to 6 or more. Alternatively you can start from zero and add your own condiments from the counter. These include Szechuan peppercorns fresh from the grinder, powdered Szechuan pepper and Szechuan pepper oil as well as garlic, ginger and soy sauce. There's also an optional Thai-style Tom Yam seasoning for your soup, but it tends to overwhelm the other flavors, so it's not really recommended.

The drinks list features "craft sour" cocktails and beer, and you're welcome to bring your own wine, subject to an Y800 corkage charge per bottle. The restaurant setup is mainly counter seating, although there are a few tables at the very back. Payment is by credit card or electronic payment only; cash is not accepted. Take-out service is available.

Chiyoda-ku, Fujimi 2-2-9.

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Venue listing from Bento.com4 Star Rating: recommended